Three U.S. tourists died of respiratory failure in a string of deaths all occurring at the same resort complex in the Dominican Republic, local authorities said, and families of the deceased are raising questions.
Pennsylvania psychotherapist Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, reportedly died on May 25 in her room at the Bahia Principe Bouganville, one of her relatives told Fox News. A resort employee found Maryland couple Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, dead in their room also at a Bahia Principe hotel on May 30, the outlet reported.
Dominican authorities say all three victims died of the same condition: respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, or fluid building up in the lungs, according to Fox News. (RELATED: Gerard Butler Has Been Hospitalized In The Dominican Republic. Here’s What We Know)
The U.S. State Department released a statement to Fox News Tuesday, confirming the deaths of the three tourists.
The statement read:
We can confirm the recent deaths of three U.S. citizens in La Romana, the Dominican Republic — Nathaniel Edward Holmes, Cynthia Ann Day, and Miranda Schaup-Werner. We offer our sincerest condolences to the families for their loss. The U.S. Embassy is actively monitoring the investigations by Dominican authorities into these tragic deaths. We stand ready to provide assistance as requested.
The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.
Fox News obtained an emailed statement from Bahia Principe, reading:
In the days that followed, we provided our complete support to Mr. Werner in collaboration with local authorities and the U.S. Embassy. We are deeply saddened by this situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
The statement from the hotel chain also reportedly included a detail about Schaup-Werner having a prior known heart condition, which was brought up by her husband in an interview with Dominican authorities, according to Fox News.
— FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) June 6, 2019
Jay McDonald, Schaup-Werner’s brother, said that she was diagnosed with a heart condition 15 years ago but has since been cleared medically. McDonald said that Daniel Werner, Schaup-Werner’s husband, told him that she had an alcoholic drink, sat down to take a selfie and then stood up screaming in pain.
“She started shrieking and she dropped to the floor. He attempted to do CPR. He tried to resuscitate her,” Werner recounted.
Family members have questions.
“That was beyond coincidence. They died five days after, and the cause was determined to be the same, this just puts this whole thing through the stratosphere – something is going on, and we want to know what it is,” McDonald said.
“We also want to know why her death was treated in such a cursory manner,” he added.
McDonald also explained that Schaup-Werner’s family requested for her body to be sent back to the U.S. for further investigation.
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